Articles

On Memory Management and Rust

Rust is definitely one of the more interesting new programming language I’ve come across recently. Memory management is definitely Rust’s “thing”, and the language wants to have its cake and eat it (so to speak). That is, Rust wants safe memory management without garbage collection. This is no easy task, and Rust delivers a . . . → Read More: On Memory Management and Rust

Introductory Lecture on Verification in Whiley

We’ve started using Whiley again in my second year course Formal Foundations of Programming. The aim of this course is to introduce students into a range of techniques related to software correctness. So far, we’ve looked at some static analysis and model checking tools.

Anyway, last week I gave an introductory lecture on writing . . . → Read More: Introductory Lecture on Verification in Whiley

My ATtiny85 Games Console

One my goals for Whiley in 2015 is to focus more on embedded systems (see here for more). A recent project of ours was compiling Whiley code to run on a QuadCopter and this identified several challenges here.  In particular, Whiley does not provide good memory management for such resource constrained environments. My plan . . . → Read More: My ATtiny85 Games Console

Flying the CrazyFlie Quadcopter!

Last week, my CrazyFlie nano-quadcopter finally arrived and, since then, I’ve been learning how to fly! The copter is much smaller than I was expecting, and it requires you to solder a few bits together.

At first, I had a lot of problems trying to fly it.  After a lot of fairly major . . . → Read More: Flying the CrazyFlie Quadcopter!

More Tracked Arduino Fun!

Recently, I’ve been upgrading my tracked arduino robot with a few more sensors. Check out the video:

The robot has two medium range IR sensors (front and back), as well as a downward facing short-range IR sensor. When the front sensor detects something is very close, the robot backs up (provided the back . . . → Read More: More Tracked Arduino Fun!

The Dafny Tutorial at SPLASH’13

Today I was attending the Dafny tutorial given by Rustan Leino at SPLASH’13. I have to say that this was the highlight of the conference for me. In case you haven’t come across it before, Dafny is a programming language designed for software verification. It has a lot in common with . . . → Read More: The Dafny Tutorial at SPLASH’13

Understanding why Union Types are useful

The Whiley programming language uses union types as a way of combining types together.  Here’s a simple example to illustrate:

function indexOf(string str, char c) => null|int: for i in 0..|str|: if str[i] == c: return i // found a match // didn’t find a match return null

Here, the type null|int is a . . . → Read More: Understanding why Union Types are useful

Whiley at the Melbourne Java User Group

A few weeks ago, I was in Melbourne attending the Australasian Software Engineering Conference and, whilst I was there, I gave a talk on Whiley at the Melbourne Java Users Group. Well, here’s the talk …

You can also get the slides from here!

Input / Output and the Object-Oriented Paradigm

Today, more then ever before, I/O dominates what software is about.  Of course, it’s always been important but, with increasing bandwidths, I/O seems to be what most programs now spend most of their time doing.  This leads to interesting questions about how, for example, to handle millions and millions of concurrent connections and we . . . → Read More: Input / Output and the Object-Oriented Paradigm

Testing out my Papilio FPGA!

Recently, I got hold of a Papilio One (which you can think of as the Arduino of FPGAs).  The Papilio board has a Xilinx Spartan 3 on board, which is plenty enough to get started learning about FPGAs.  Here’s what the board looks like:

Now, it might look big above … . . . → Read More: Testing out my Papilio FPGA!